Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

RWANDA-SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa: Exiled Rwandan general accuses Kagame in death that sparked the genocide

JOHANNESBURG — A Rwandan general who was once a top aide to Rwandan President Paul Kagame but now is among his most prominent critics said Thursday that Kagame ordered the killing of the previous president that sparked Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.
Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa made the accusation Thursday as he testified in a Johannesburg courtroom about an attempt on his own life in 2010 in South Africa. The shooting of Nyamwasa, and developments in other countries, have raised suspicions that Rwanda’s government has deployed hit teams against dissidents abroad. Rwanda denies the accusations.

Asked why the three Rwandans and three Tanzanians on trial may have wanted him dead, Nyamwasa, once Kagame’s military chief, described a breakdown in his relationship with Kagame.
“I ran out of the country because my life was threatened,” Nyamwasa testified.
Nyamwasa fled in 2010 to South Africa, where he was shot months after arrival. Nyamwasa testified Thursday that a bullet remains lodged at the base of his spinal column.
Rwanda’s government has denied involvement in the attempted murder.
Nyamwasa testified Thursday that another Rwandan exiled in South Africa allowed him to listen in secret to a telephone call with a top Rwandan army official in Rwanda. Nyamwasa said the caller from Rwanda was looking for someone to help “eliminate” Nyamwasa. Nyamwasa said he reported the conversation to South African authorities before he was shot, but that his security was stepped up only after the shooting.
He added, as a further explanation of why he may have been targeted: “There are facts in my knowledge that the president of Rwanda ordered the killing of the former president of Rwanda, President Habyarimana.”
Rwanda’s 100-day genocide was sparked by the shooting down of then-President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane in 1994. Militants from the Hutu ethnic majority blamed Tutsis, sparking the massacre of more than 500,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, a frenzied slaughter that was stopped when Kagame’s Tutsi rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, toppled the Hutu extremists.
While the Rwandan government blames Hutu extremists for the crash that killed Habyarimana, accusations persisted for years that Kagame’s Tutsi rebel force shot down the plane. A French investigation completed earlier this year found that the missile fire came from a military camp and not Tutsi rebels. French judges had filed preliminary charges against Kagame’s allies and were investigating the crash because a French air crew was killed.
Nyamwasa was not allowed to elaborate Thursday after the judge ruled that the general was merely speculating and not offering evidence of the suspects’ motives.
A South African lawyer hired by Rwanda’s government to monitor the proceedings, Gerhard van der Merwe, said after Thursday’s session that it was unfortunate accusations could be leveled without Kagame being given an opportunity to respond.
Nyamwasa was for years a top Kagame aide. In testimony over the last two days, he has described a falling out that may have led to his apparent demotion from national security coordinator to ambassador to India in 2004.

DRC-RWANDA:INVESTIGATION: Congo Faces Split As Rebels Plan New State Of Kivu

Several armed groups in the vast Kivu Province have joined hands in a bid to force a major break away from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), can exclusively reveal.

Led by Colonel Albert Kahasha, the groups are seeking territorial independence and will soon announce a government separate from the Kinshasa leadership.
In a statement released Thursday to this news website, a provincial platform has been formed, “in protest against the central government in Kinshasa inability to take the leadership in reconciliation between the daughters and sons of the Great Kivu.”
Signed by a one Martin Tetunga on behalf of the “Reconciliatory Consultative Council
For Security Development In The Great Kivu,” the statement further reads:
“Members to this platform are the following: Pareco, The group lead by Colonel Albert Kahasha, CNDP/M23 and the union of Congolese for the defense of Democracy.”
Tetunga also notes that “consultation with the leadership of the following groups is on the way: Mai Mai Raia Mutomboki, Mai Mai Cheka, Mai Mai Yakutumba and the group known as Mudundu 40.”
The development comes on the backdrop of a mutiny led by warlord Gen. Bosco Ntaganda that has plunged the country in deeper political turmoil.
Speaking to press on Tuesday in Kigali, President Paul Kagame denied any involvement in the Congo crisis that has forced thousands of refugees to Rwanda and Uganda.
Kagame denied that Rwanda was supporting Ntaganda with arms and forces, blaming the international community for peddling lies and fuelling the crisis for economic gain.
Kinshasa authorities have publicly accused Kigali of supporting a mutiny in Congo which has threatened peace and security in the region.
Some rebel commanders now believe splitting Congo from Kivu will bring about peace, unity and respect of human rights in the region thus solving the DRC crisis.
According to Tetunga, as a regional structure, the objectives of the ‘Reconciliatory Consultative Council For Security Development In The Great Kivu’ include initiating reconciliation among the daughters and sons of the Great Kivu.
They intend also to “explore all possible avenues for peaceful coexistence among all the tribes and ethnics groups living in The Great Kivu and enforcing security for all the people in the area irrespective of their tribes, gender, religion and ethnic background.”
Tetunga adds the move will as well initiate an administrative system by the people and for the people in the Great Kivu.
This implies the new joint force intends to hold general elections for Kivu to put in place a functioning government.
Tetunga further states the group will initiate a grass root campaign against corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in public service.
“We believe these are the aspirations of all the Congolese people which are long overdue,” says Tetunga.
Multiple sources in the diplomatic community have revealed the rebels want to put an end to the gross human rights violations in Kivu by forming a government similar to that of South Sudan.
 “They want political reform and to be given a chance to manage their security. The rebellion is already going on and they have captured many territories from the DRC army,” said a highly placed source.
“People of the Eastern Congo have been marginalized, forgotten and the region has been engulfed by endless bloody ethnic and sectarian conflicts. What we are seeing is self determination within the DRC. The issue also is affecting the whole DRC not eastern part alone.  The issues is national not just themselves alone,” said a source.
“It will take time to split but once they have galvanized the political and security of the region, then they can propose for any sort of Independence. But their main concern today is the international community to know their objectives and what they intend to achieve in a long term. They want their concern to be seen as national not sectarian or regional,” the source said. 

RWANDA:Rwanda's Nyamwasa Accuses Gen. Nziza Of Assassination Plan

Exiled Rwanda General Kayumba Nyamwasa has given a vivid description to a Johannesburg Court how he survived a dramatic assassination attempt on his life outside his Atholl residence in June 2010.
Nyamwasa placed his hand on one of the six suspects, Hemedi Sefu, when prosecutor Shaun Abrahams asked him to identify the shooter in court.
“I am a trained military man. I tried to dive out of the vehicle but the bullet hit my stomach. I later wrestled with the shooter to disarm him before running away,” Nyamwasa told court in a politically sensitive case that involves army officers and deadly covert intelligence operations.
Nyamwasa said Hemedi was wearing black trousers and an orange sweater on the fateful day.
He further testified that he earlier knew a plot to kill him was in the pipeline thus alerting South Africa’s head of military intelligence. He was shot weeks later.
The former Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Chief of Staff said he fled Rwanda to Uganda then Kenya and later South Africa.
Nyamwasa said he overheard a conversation where one of the people on the other line was Brigadier Jack Nziza, then military intelligence chief –Rwanda Defence Forces.
“I reported the phone call threat to police because my life was being threatened.”
Rwanda’s government spokesperson Louse Mushikiwabo was not readily available for comment but Kigali has repeatedly denied allegations it was involved in the assassination plot that severed relations with Pretoria in 2010.  
Nyamwasa said his private security was arranged only after the shooting incident on June 19, 2010.
He also told court that he spent several days in hospital after the shooting and was bed ridden for a month. He said a bullet is still lodged in his spine.
During the trial, Nyamwasa gave a brief background about his military career, his escape from Rwanda and the formation of the opposition Rwanda National Congress (RNC).
He had left India, where was the ambassador, after learning that his mother was ill. She later passed away.
After the funeral, Nyamwasa claims to have asked President Paul Kagame if he would stay in Rwanda.
“On February 24, after a meeting with RPF, I feared being arrested and incarcerated. I asked accused 4 Richard Bachisa, whom I trusted, to drive me to Uganda. Bachisa dropped me some metres away from the border where I swam across a river before being picked up on the other side of Uganda,” Nyamwasa told court.  
On RNC, Nyamwasa said former government officials, MPs, journalists and members of the public joined to form the opposition party.
Regarding his military career, Nyamwasa said he served in the Uganda army in 1986 before joining RPF thus capturing power in 1994.
He also participated in the Nsele and Arusha peace agreements in 1991 between RPF and government of Juvenal Habyarimana in 1991.
In October 2000, he was appointed Major-General thus relinquishing his job as chief of staff.
Rwanda government’s lawyer told court today that Kigali is interested in the case.

RWANDA:Rwanda: a country close to Stalinism than African Singapore

Paul Kagame – President of Rwanda
Two gripping accounts of what is happening in Rwanda describe a picture of the country that foreigners cannot know, and will never get close to, because of the distorted and aggressive way the Rwandan government led by president Paul Kagame portrays itself towards the rest of the world. 
The two parts of a same narrative are published by Jennifer Fierberg in Africa Global Village and Salem News. What is striking is the truth which transpires out of the stories. Millions of Rwandans inside and outside can see themselves through them. That is how the majority experiences their unenviable lives under the Rwandan Patriotic Front regime.
In one of the stories highlighted, the writer explains for example how Rwandan government spies control every aspect of people lives. Hotels are for example asked
…. to file a report of any incidents of prominent people who were in the company of members of the opposite sex (not spouses) who were seeking a hotel room! In short, the police insist on knowing who is sleeping with whom!
After the Rwandan genocide, Kagame’s government has received billions of $. Some of these have built new infrastructures in the country, but others have sustained wars in neighbouring countries and oppressive judiciary and security systems. That the country be praised for its economic development, though only benefiting a tiny minority, this does not make it different from a Stalinist repressive dictatorship.
Far from becoming an African Singapore, Rwanda may loose all the economic gains accumulated other the years, if the Kagame’s government’s excessive and oppressive control on people’s lives does not get relaxed.
Can you imagine a place on earth where you cannot trust your wife, husband, neighbour, workmate, or child because you suspect they could be a government spy who is after you?

RWANDA-SOUTH AFRICA:South Africa: Exiled Rwandan accuses Kagame in death of Habyarimana

JOHANNESBURG — A Rwandan general claims Rwandan President Paul Kagame ordered the killing that sparked the east African country’s 1994 genocide.
Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa made the accusation Thursday as he testified in a Johannesburg courtroom about an attack on his own life in 2010.
Asked why the three Rwandans and three Tanzanians on trial may have wanted him dead, Nyamwasa, who is Rwanda’s former military chief, began to describe a breakdown in his relationship with Kagame. Nyamwasa fled in 2010 to South Africa, where he was shot. Rwanda’s government has denied involvement in the attempted murder.
Nyamwasa testified: “The president of Rwanda ordered the killing of the former president of Rwanda, President Habyarimana.”
A missile brought down the plane carrying Habyarimana, a Hutu, in 1994. The current Rwandan government blames Hutu extremists. But Hutu militants blamed the crash on Tutsis, sparking the genocide.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RWANDA-USA:End the Impunity in Eastern Congo: Hold US Ally to Account

The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO ) recently revealed that the Rwandan government has a hand in the current instability in eastern Congo by giving support to the rebel groups National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) and/or M23. This does not come as news to those who follow Congolese politics. Since 1996, the Rwandan government has acted as a major destabilizing force in the east of the Congo. Myriad studies and reports have documented how the Rwandan government has waged proxy wars through rebel groups, pilfering of Congo's resources and trading in hundreds of millions of dollars of conflict minerals.

The report by MONUSCO is not surprising, but the carte blanche that the Rwandan government enjoys, especially at the international level, continues to boggle the mind. It would appear that the more Rwanda destabilizes the Congo, the more military equipment, training, intelligence and financial aid the government gets from its donors in the West. Timothy Reid's prescient article in the Harvard Policy Journal entitled "Killing Them Softly: Has Foreign Aid to Rwanda and Uganda Contributed to the Humanitarian Tragedy in the Democratic Republic of Congo?" captures the scale of the impunity with which the Rwandan government has operated in Congo with the full backing of its donors.

A staunch ally of the United States and the United Kingdom, the Rwandan government has benefited tremendously from the diplomatic cover and protection that accompanies its relationship with such powerful nations - former New York Times reporter, Howard French explains.

The United States has a law on its books that supporters of the Rwandan government both inside and outside the US government would wish to disappear. The Democratic Republic of The Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act (PL 109-456), sponsored by Barack Obama and Co-Sponsored by Hillary Clinton when they were both Senators, was signed into law in 2006 by President Bush.

Section 105 of Public Law 109-456 says "The Secretary of State is authorized to withhold assistance made available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), other than humanitarian, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism assistance, for a foreign country if the Secretary determines that the government of the foreign country is taking actions to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

Following a United Nations group of experts report published in 2008 documenting Rwanda's support for the CNDP and its leader at the time, Laurent Nkunda, Sweden and Netherlands did what the United States has not done to date; they held the Rwandan government to account by withholding financial aid. Subsequently, Rwanda demobilized the CNDP and placed Laurent Nkunda under house arrest only to replace him with Bosco Ntaganda as head of the CNDP. Now that Ntaganda has become toxic as a result of increasing demands that he should be brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he is wanted for war crimes in the Congo, there is now an attempt to replace him with Sultani Makenga. Noted scholar of the region Rene LeMarchand stated in the Fall/Winter 2009, Brown Journal of World Affairs that Rwanda is a central actor who will determine whether the region is characterized by peace or war.

Allowing more to die and add to the millions of Congolese already lost to the war and instability of the last fifteen years is unconscionable. It is time that the international community and Rwanda's allies, especially the United States, hold the Rwandan government to account. A good start would be to implement Section 105 of PL 109-456.

Sign Petition
Sign this petition and let President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton know that you stand for peace in the Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Contact the U.S. State Department, The White House and members of Congress and request that they hold the Rwandan government accountable for its actions in the Congo.

Select Resources that document the Rwandan government's destabilizing role in the Congo

DR Congo: Rwanda Should Stop Aiding War Crimes Suspect
Human Rights Watch

Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering The Truth
Documentary Film
Friends of the Congo

Kagame Admits that Rwandans Led Revolt in Congo
Washington Post, July 1997

Kagame's Hidden War in the Congo
New York Review of Books
Howard French

United Nations Mapping Exercise Report
Navanethem "Navi" Pillay,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR)
UN Group of Experts Report
December 2008

The Six Day War, Rwanda and Uganda Battle in Kisangani, DRC

Sunday, June 3, 2012

RWANDA:Lie: An order from President Kagame of Rwanda

From the Africa Global Village By Jennifer Fierberg, MSW

By: Jennifer Fierberg, MSW
Rwandan National Congress (RNC) Speaks on Rwanda’s issues in the CongoThe last few weeks have seen the Central Africa region, particularly the Congo and Rwanda; face many dualities of challenges; from the sentencing of warlords at the ICC to new rebel groups surfacing in the Congo. A central player in all of this has, once again, emerged as Rwanda and the Kagame Regime. For many years President Kagame has been pulling strings and controlling the lives of millions in the Congo through private political deals and troops continuing to brutally take resources from the Congolese. In a surprising move, On Friday June 1, 2012 many Congo MP’s walked out of closed door meeting stating that secret dealings with Rwanda be debated in public, (
The following is the press release as translated by the Rwandan National Congress:PRESS RELEASE OF MAY 31/2012 NºRNC2012SP001/DRC (Translated)
The Rwandan people and the world, once again, heard the Rwandan foreign affairs minister desperately denying the Rwandan government involvement in the socio-political and military troubles in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Rwanda (DRC), while the leaked UN report and MONUSCO confirmed having reliable sources that the Rwanda provides assistance including military training to rebel groups in that region.
The Rwandan National Congress (RNC) would like to remind the people of Rwanda that the Rwandan Foreign Affairs statements are pure lies meant to mislead the people of Rwanda and the international community. The Rwandan National Congress calls upon all Rwandan hungry for lasting peace, unity, justice, economic and social development, to join us in the fight against the continuation of these unnecessary wars that only serve the interests of President Kagame. Millions of Congolese and Rwandans continue to die every day; women and girls are being raped every day. Countless Rwandan soldiers are losing their lives every day, not to mention the hatred these wars create among the people of the two nations.
You recall that on May 11, 2012 the coordinator of the Rwandan National Congress, Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, in a memo addressed to the Secretary General of the UN, the Head of States, members of G8, the European Union, the African Union and the UN Security Council, outlined why President Kagame is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Eastern DRC. (Attached) This was corroborated by the UN report, which triggered blistering denial by the Rwandan foreign affairs minister, who blamed it on MONUSCO instead.
The  RNC reminds Rwandans and the international community that lying has been part of the culture of the Kigali regime. The Rwandan authorities are constantly asked to lie; it was the case when tens of thousands of Rwandan troops were fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1996 and 1998, but Rwandan Foreign affairs ministers has denied the presence of Rwandan soldiers on Congolese soil. These ministers had to obey the orders of President Kagame: "lying."
The Rwandan National Congress takes this opportunity to ask all Rwandans to join RNC in condemning personal wars which raise public debts and cost lives of our fellow citizens.
Jean Paul Turayishimye
Spokesperson, RNC